Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

At The Playground

This is Griffin at the playground that's in the park where we go to walk Abby each day. He usually doesn't go down the slide but he does enjoy the vestibular activity where he goes around in circles at a relatively high rate of speed. I turn him around and around and he never gets dizzy nor does he ever want to stop. When he gets off of it he doesn't stumble or act like he has lost his balance, it is truly amazing. Griffin often asks to go to the playground but doesn't play for very long which is a good thing for me in the summer heat since I am allergic to the sun and have to stay out of it as much as possible. Right now, it is perfect weather for me because it is in the 50's and I just love it. It is so nice and cool with a nice breeze going some days and after walking for a bit I warm up and feel just fine. I was wondering if anyone else's child(ren) goes to the playground but doesn't seem to want to play? Some days he will just kind of wanders around aimlessly and I feel as though our trip has been wasted. Maybe you could share some of your experiences of the playground with me so that I might understand why Griffin doesn't really want to play.


Melissa H said...

Lora -

From what I understand, this is typical for our ASD kids. It is not a waste of a trip!! Keep taking him!

ASD kids don't naturally understand how to "play" in the way that NT children do. We have to teach them. As well, playgrounds are soooo spacious and our ASD kids don't know what to do with all of that space.

Conor prefers to "explore" the area and look at the leaves, sticks and trees, but I encourage him to use the slide and climb. At first, I had to grab him and take him down the slide on my lap. Now, he does it on his own and loves the slide.
He hates the swings, so I encourage that a bit more each time since it stimulates the vestibular.

Keep up the great work! Follow those instincts!

gretchen said...

Hi Lora,

I often struggled with this with Henry. I felt like as a "good mom" I should be taking him to the playground. But he never seemed to really enjoy it, or "get" what he was supposed to do there. I think part of it was that Henry has always been small, not very coordinated, not very brave. So he was intimidated by the equipment. (Griffin seems big and strong, so I don't know if that's the case with him.)

This year, in kindergarten, we made an IEP goal of just being able to play functionally on the playground. The PT worked with him, along with his other teachers. A couple months ago I was floored when we went to the playground and he ran right over and started climbing around and PLAYING!

At our IEP meeting for next year, they didn't think Henry would even need PT in the future because he has come very far. I can't really tell you anything that I did, because they worked on it a lot at school. But maybe you could mention it to his teachers/make it an IEP goal?

Teague said...

The spining thing is interasting. I used to do that myself. I still like it in the form of amusment park rides. I took to the spining ones and loved them, no matter how loud and fast, long before I could stand roalercoasters, and rarely get dizzy. I used to win contests that way but never thought it might be connected to that kind of thing at all untill I noticed it on your blog.

Kiralea Powell said...

Melissa is right, keep taking him.
Jordan does the same thing, he likes to slide down the slippery dip once then will wonder off elsewhere and make his errr noises.

When we redirect him he just stands around and maybe will climb and just stand there while other kids are rushing past him.

He does love the park but a lot of the time he doesnt use the park constructively. At times we feel sad for Jordan whilst watching other kids but then quickly realise that he is enjoying himself and seems extremely happy with how he uses his time at the park. I know it can be hard lora, but Griffin is still 4 and by the sounds of things he is coming along brilliantly, you never know, he may surprise you one day. Interaction is the key with our special needs children along with repetiviness in a structured routine like attending the park.(hope that makes sense) i have the flu and feeling somewhat hazy headed.

Mr Ornery said...

Griffin may enjoy simply wandering around, taking in the sights. It's you and the little fellow together in the great outdoors. Nothing wasted in any trip like that one.